New Mexico Sheriff’s Department Helicopter Crash Kills Four

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Three sheriff officers and a county firefighter were headed home after fighting wildfires

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New Mexico State Police calls Ray Wilson said the first 911 came in around 7:20 pm MT from residents who saw the chopper go down.

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It took authorities over 90 minutes to get to the area and then access the crash site, he said. The Bell UH-1H chopper crashed in the wilderness on private land, Mr. Wilson said.

The helicopter carried three Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department deputies and a firefighter from the Bernalillo County Fire Department, Mr. Wilson said.

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Mr. Wilson said the victims had spent the day in the air assisting fire crews with an East Mesa wildfire and were on their way home when the crash happened.

“Please keep these individuals and their families in your thoughts and prayers tonight,” the Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation, the FAA said.

New Mexico has been struggling to contain multiple wildfires in recent months, including the biggest in state history, which began April 6 after a prescribed burn got out of control.

New Mexico, like much of the Western US, is in the grips of a yearslong drought. The dry conditions make wildfires easier to ignite and burn.

In May, the head of the US Forest Service ordered a temporary halt to prescribed burns, pending a 90-day review of agency procedures.

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Credit: www.Businesshala.com /

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